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Good things don’t come easy and easy things don’t come good. This has been proven for Sysco Hi-Stan International where it has overcome obstacles time and time again, never letting them stop it from its mission of providing the best to its customers, any place and anytime. While the the company has come a long way...

When a company achieves “world’s first”, the journey usually gets tougher as higher expectations are sure to follow, if only to remain ahead and above. NedCard - the world’s first independent smart card module assembly still going strong today with a wide international market reach.

“Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries,” is just one of the few philosophies that Calvin Yau the CEO of CTS-Caliber practises. Caliber Solutions was conceived by a group of technical experts which originally started in Malaysia but are now based in Vietnam and continues to expand throughout the South East Asian region.

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12 August 2014

Electronic identity documents (e-IDs) in the form of contactless smartcards will in future be more than just proof of identity. They could additionally serve as multi-functional cards that can be used in many other areas of everyday life: for instance, as a public transport ticket, as company ID or as a library card. This is indeed consumer-friendly, but will expose the smartcards to greater pressure than before. In order to adequately address new use scenarios already during the design phase of the smartcards and in order to enable better testing and assessment conditions, Bundesdruckerei, Infineon  and the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM have joined forces as partners in the two-year SeManTiK project ("Secure and long-life e-ID applications for human/machine interaction"). The partnership has resulted in realistic test methods and simulation models and explored new methods of integrating the chip into the card body. More than 35,000 cards were packaged, tested, analysed and evaluated in 20 different test combinations. The new test sequences developed in the project made it possible to obtain extraordinarily reliable and precise confirmation of failure rates and patterns which have been observed in international smart card projects with more than 50 million cards in day-to-day use. "In future, our research results from SeManTiK will thus become part of the work of the international standardisation bodies of the smart card industry and demonstrate Bundesdruckerei's innovation leadership," says Joachim Kloeser, Chief Project Manager and Co-ordinator at Bundesdruckerei. Thanks to SeManTiK, card manufacturers can simulate the life of the documents better than before and adjust the design as required. "If contactless e-IDs are to be used several times a day in future, they must withstand significantly greater stress than before," says Peter Stampka, Initiator and Project Manager at Infineon in Regensburg. "The results from SeManTiK will help to improve the mechanical strength of contactless e-IDs and are therefore also an important step towards achieving parity between the optical and electronic security of ID documents."

12 August 2014

TSYS announced its Enterprise Tokenisation solution to secure payment card information for purchases made online, through mobile devices and "digital wallet" applications. The solution is a key component of the company's Connected Mobility agenda which includes API interfaces and consumer-facing applications to support payments, communications and commerce. "TSYS is at the forefront of this digital revolution in commerce," said Paul Bridgewater, Group Executive of Global Product, TSYS. "Retailers and consumers alike want to conduct transactions and protect personal data with confidence and security. By putting people at the center of payments, our solution delivers on this promise." Tokenisation provides a secure way for merchants, e-Commerce sites and operators of mobile wallets to store sensitive payment card data on their networks. Businesses can also use tokenisation to facilitate on-demand, subscription or recurring transactions, and tokens decrease shopping cart abandonment rates. With payment tokenisation, consumers can register a payment card with a mobile wallet or online store that replaces the actual card number with a payment token used for that merchant or wallet vendor. TSYS Enterprise Tokenisation aligns with  specifications and best practice documents from various industry bodies, as well as applicable MasterCard, Visa and AmEx mandates for securing and processing payments using tokens initiated via consumer-controlled devices (such as mobile devices and personal computers).

11 August 2014

EMVCo has approved FIME's Japanese laboratory to its EMVCo Contactless Communication Protocol Specification, covering both analogue and digital testing requirements. This accreditation means FIME Japan can support chip card and mobile device manufacturers with type approval testing of their products to the requirements defined by EMVCo. "Following the launch of our Japanese operation in December 2013, EMVCo accreditations have been a high priority as they are central to the payment ecosystem," comments Alex Chen, Sales Director at FIME Asia. "We have been able to leverage FIME's global expertise and knowledge of quality systems in order to achieve this accreditation quickly and effectively.” Commenting on the marketplace, Alex added, "The contactless payments ecosystem is evolving rapidly in Japan and this accreditation enables us to support our rapidly growing customer base throughout the development lifecycle of NFC devices and EMV payment chip cards. We partner with our customers to develop payment technology innovations by combining real-world implementation challenges with future technical ambitions. In addition to our status as an EMVCo laboratory, FIME has also achieved accredited laboratory status and test tool qualification from various industry bodies including GlobalPlatform, Isis, Orange, NFC Forum and others. As contactless payments continue to gain traction, FIME recognises the stability and trust these vital compliance schemes bring to the industry.”

11 August 2014

Weighing in at 100g, Borer’s FUSION Smartcard Reader is a complete access control solution providing full online and offline card validation with decision making capabilities at the point of entry. This removes the need for a separate control panel, wall box and additional mains power at every door facilitating speedy, cost-effective installation. The elimination of unnecessary equipment together with a low energy profile delivers a “Cleaner, Leaner and Greener” solution, reducing lifetime cost of ownership. The intelligent smart card reader’s secure internal database holds a massive 120,000 card holders/transactions at the reader enabling decisions to be made at the reader. All data held on the database is securely encrypted to prevent manipulation or misuse. One key feature is that firmware updates can be automatically downloaded to the reader over the LAN network, enabling new generations of smart cards to be supported when the technologies are introduced. The FUSION Smartcard Reader support for open standard (ISO 14443A and B - MIFARE and DESFire, ISO 15693) technologies where a single card can be used for a range of applications including: banking, travel card, cashless vending, access control and attendance recording.

11 August 2014

Trüb has won another contract to supply a new generation of chips for the Swiss Maestro and V PAY cards. The CombOS chip card OS from Trüb is one of two operating systems which will provide the basis for the new EMVI'16 generation of chips from 2016. Every four to five years SIX Payment Services develops a new chip specification on behalf of the Swiss debit card issuers. In each case, as part of a formal tender process, an assessment is conducted of two chip card providers who develop and supply the new chip generation independently from each other. For the production years 2016 to 2020 the two suppliers will each provide a contact-based and a dual-interface (contact and contactless) EMVI'16-chip. The contact-based CombOS EMVI'16 chip from Trüb is based on the payment specification Common Payment Application (CPA) which can be accepted by both MasterCard and Visa for payment cards. The CombOS dual interface version of EMVI’16 also supports the contactless specifications PayPass (MasterCard) and VCPS (VISA). The combined implementation of CPA, PayPass and VCPS on the same chip is a world’s first in the market.

07 August 2014

NXP has been a partner of the famous Vierdaagsefeesten (Four-Day Festivities) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands for many years, but this year a new dimension was added to the partnership. With the introduction of a card that allowed visitors to make contactless payment at the Valkhof Festival – one of the party venues during the Vierdaagsefeesten. At the event, which took place in the city centre of Nijmegen in July, attendees were able to make use of the special card fitted with an NXP MiFare DESFire chip. By introducing the card, the 44 year old event was propelled into the future, catching onto the new payments trend. All bars and restaurants involved in the Valkhof Festival switched from the traditional tokens that visitors previously used to pay for their food and drinks, to a chip card enabling cashless payments.

05 August 2014

Swisscom is counting on highly secure NFC-enabled SIM cards from G&D to allow its customers to make payments with "Tapit" digital wallet for smartphones in Switzerland. The platform is used by every mobile network provider in the country. The smartphone app uses NFC technology to allow users to make payments, collect loyalty points and open doors. G&D's SIM card is the central security element in this system, safely storing sensitive information such as digital payment cards or employee ID for building access. Swisscom mobile network customers are able to use Tapit in all shops which already accept contactless payments. There are already more than 50,000 such shops in Switzerland, including branches of Coop and Migros – and the trend is up. In the future, Swiss mobile network customers will also be able to use the digital wallet to manage their loyalty cards. Tapit’s payment function currently supports Visa payment cards issued by Cornèrcard, with further card issuers set to follow, for example Aduno Group/Viseca, provider of MasterCard cards. The NFC-enabled SIM card from the SkySIM CX family, which G&D delivers to Swisscom, fulfills the particular security requirements stipulated for conventional payment, ticketing and identification applications. The SIM card is approved by EMVCo, MasterCard, Visa and AmEx. Several different NFC applications can be run securely at the same time on the SIM card. The SkySIM CX family also supports the transit applications MIFARE, CIPURSE and Calypso, meaning it can also be used as a travel pass for local public transport. The SIM cards can be supplied in the 2FF, micro-SIM, nano-SIM and triple-SIM form factors and are compatible with 2G, 3G and LTE networks.

04 August 2014

EMV/smart payment card volumes reached shipment levels totaling 1.67 billion in 2013, an increase of 27% when compared to 2012. This exceptional growth was primarily driven by the “China effect” as it continues to migrate to its People’s Bank of China (PBOC) standard. Additional growth will come from EMV migration in the US and increased contactless adoption in Europe. Moving forward ABI Research expects a doubling of worldwide shipments, with 3.3 billion forecast in 2019. In 2013, 442 million smart payment cards with the PBOC specification shipped into China. Of that total, 56% were contactless, with the remainder primarily made up of contact-based payment/social security cards. If we discount China, worldwide YoY growth would have been just 8.5% between 2012 and 2013, which highlights the effect this single country is having on the overall worldwide picture. With exceptional growth last year, many might expect the market to settle down; however, this is not the case. Ample opportunity still resides, and EMV migration projects on the horizon will add further growth to the smart payment cards market right through to 2019. Vendors such as NXP, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Gemalto, Morpho, Oberthur Technologies, and G&D will be looking ahead to the next wave of opportunities to maintain individual growth momentum. In fact, double-digit YoY growth is forecast through to 2017 and these vendors will want to position themselves and anticipate those regions which will provide the greatest returns. Senior Analyst Phil Sealy said, “Migration in the US has been long anticipated. It has arguably been a slow road to realisation, but EMV card issuance is now likely to begin in 2H 2014, off the back of tenders and orders placed in 1H 2014. With over one billion payment cards in circulation the ‘China effect’ could well be replicated within the US. Moving forward Indonesia will likely provide another growth trigger and other large countries such as India will add further growth with current expectations that it will begin large scale migration in 2016.”

04 August 2014

The use of contactless cards to make payments has continued to gain monthly momentum in the UK, according to figures released by Visa Europe. Consumers made almost 20 million (19.7 million) contactless transactions across the UK in May, an 18% increase on April alone. More than 37.8 million contactless cards have now been issued by UK banks, a 35% increase on the same period last year. Visa Europe’s data also shows that in addition to increased usage by consumers and greater issuing of contactless cards from banks, the UK’s top 30 retailers are helping to drive use of the payment method. The top 30 retailers accounted for 67% of all contactless payments in May 2014. Nick Mackie, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe said, “Growth in Visa contactless payments is accelerating at a phenomenal pace. Driven by increased consumer awareness, the commitment of UK banks to issue Visa contactless cards and UK retailers activating contactless terminals, contactless payments have reached record highs in the past few months. The pace of growth has been particularly exciting to see, as consumers experience the value, speed and convenience that Visa contactless payments deliver.”

04 August 2014

Bus customers paying for their journeys with a contactless payment card will now benefit from having their fares capped, automatically calculating the best value for their contactless travel over a seven-day period. The added benefit is part of Transport for London's (TfL) huge range of improvements for customers making it easier and more convenient for them to pay for their travel. Contactless payments were launched on London's buses in December 2012. Since then, over 850,000 customers have used their contactless payment card to pay the single bus fare around 17 million times, currently around 62,000 per day. Customers using contactless no longer have to check and top up their Oyster credit.  Shashi Verma, TfL's Director of Customer Experience said, “Contactless payments on our buses have been a resounding success with over 850,000 customers using their contactless payment card to pay for bus journeys. Now we're adding capping, contactless customers will benefit from having the best value automatically calculated for their travel which will appeal to even more bus users who want the convenience of using contactless to pay for their travel.”